Following a major $7.1 million award to three veterans, another jury has awarded $1.7 million to an infantryman who lost his hearing despite using 3M’s military earplugs.
The jury found 3M responsible for about 62% of the verdict, or just over $1 million.
The verdict was awarded to Lloyd B., a former infantryman and M240 machine gun operator who started to lose his hearing in 2005, during training at Fort Lewis, before going to Iraq.
By 2009, he was diagnosed with hearing loss and tinnitus in both ears.
The jury concluded that 3M failed to warn about problems with the earplugs — known as Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) — which caused the earplugs to slip out of the ear canal imperceptibly.
3M is currently facing around 230,000 lawsuits from U.S. service members who developed tinnitus, hearing loss, and other hearing problems after the earplugs failed to protect them from loud noises.
The lawsuits are centralized in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida — 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation — Case Number 3:19-MD-02885.